Call for Proposals Open for Woodland Support Projects 2021-22 – Ireland
The Department of Agricultural, Food, and Marine is seeking applications for its Woodland Support Projects to provide funding to the forestry sector in Ireland.
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Woodlands and Forestry haves many benefits for society including economic, social and environmental ones. They are a source of timber products, recreational spaces and habitat for biodiversity while also providing an important source of income for rural communities.
The main priority is to increase afforestation in a sustainable manner, as it is only through this that the many benefits of forests can be achieved, but it is also clear that reaching the 8000ha per year target set out in the Government’s Climate Action Plan is going to be a major challenge. Farmers have disengaged from the forestry programme schemes for a variety of reasons e.g. bad publicity on forestry, good prices for leasing land, land tied up in GLAS. The challenge now is to get farmers interested and get their participation levels up again, which have slipped from 96% in 2014 to 30% currently.
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The needs identified as part of the development of the Forestry Programme 2014-2020 were:
To increase the level of forest cover
To increase the supply of forest-based biomass
To support private forest holders in actively managing their forest
To enhance the environmental and social benefits of new and existing forests
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In order to encourage farmers and other land owners to plant and to raise the profile of forestry as a public good and a commercially viable enterprise, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (‘DAFM’) is inviting applications for funding for projects which support and highlight forestry under the four following themes:
Support and highlight the environmental benefits of woodlands
This theme has been included to encourage individuals or groups with a specific interest in the environmental role of forestry, to submit proposals which raise awareness of the value of woodlands and the many ways in which trees and forests contribute to achieving their environmental goals.
Support and highlight the benefits of woodlands, focussing on farmers, and/or community engagement and/or general wellness
The target audience under this heading includes the general public, schools, community groups, land-owners and farmers and is particularly aimed at encouraging tree planting. Proposals under this theme should highlight the extent of consultation and engagement with these groups and could include the development and distribution of promotional material, photographs and videos, social media campaigns, information packs, surveys, quizzes, competitions, art/illustration/animation, on-line publications and activities such as webinars and the promotion of forestry as a career opportunity.
Support and highlight productive forestry and timber products, in the context of climate action and the bioeconomy.
This theme targets landowners, both farmers and non-farmers, users of wood and harvested wood products, architects and builder’s providers. It seeks to encourage greater use of wood, participation in sustainable forest management of existing forests, and increased afforestation, particularly among those who have not yet planted. Projects marketing the climate benefits of using wood can be aimed at a wider audience also, to highlight the importance of sustainable forest management for the whole of society, as a source of timber and timber products and as part of the national effort to tackle climate change through increased carbon sequestration and carbon storage.
Support and highlight sustainable forest management among forest owners (targeted at organizations already active in this area with established programmes in operation).
Groups and representative organizations who operate in the area of sustainable forest management, forest certification or who are engaged in raising awareness of best practice in afforestation and felling processes may apply for funding under this theme.
For more information, visit https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/87bb6-open-call-for-proposals-for-woodland-support-projects-for-20212022-specification-and-application-form/#themes-for-proposals